MINGLE to host third edition of Indian LGBT Youth Leadership Summit in Mumbai

Mumbai, May 24:  The third edition of the Indian LGBT Youth Leadership Summit will be organized in Mumbai over two days, June 4 and 5, by Mission for Indian Gay and Lesbian Empowerment (MINGLE) in association with Love Matters India.

This year, the summit is being sponsored by Godrej Industries, RNW Media, Barclays, Fondation de France and supported by community partners Pink Pages, Gay Bombay and Rainbow Solidarite.

On day one, the summit will be hosted by Godrej Industries at Godrej One, the new headquarters of the Godrej Industries group in Vikhroli. On day two, The Lalit International will be the venue for the summit.

As in the past two years, the objective of the summit has been to identify potential leaders among the LGBT Indian youth and groom them for future leadership roles. The event will consist of coaching sessions, leadership development workshops and panel discussions.

Over the years, the summit has been increasingly popular amongst LGBT community. This year, more than two hundred and fifty young LGBT people between the ages of 18 and 28 had applied to attend, among whom 35 have been selected based on their leadership potential and willingness to engage on LGBT issues. The participants are a diverse group of men, women and transgender persons from various professional, educational and cultural backgrounds, coming from Mumbai, Delhi, Chandigarh, Bangalore,Guwahati, Kolkata, among other cities. Some nominated participants from Nepal and Sri Lanka will also attend.

One of the key highlights of this year’s summit will be the launch of the 2016 Workplace Climate Survey Report conducted by MINGLE’s research team. The survey covered one hundred LGBT employees across three major sectors of the Indian economy and is the only large scale Indian study that looks into workplace inclusion issues from an LGBT perspective.

The launch of the report will be followed by a panel discussion with Charles Radcliffe (United Nations), Pooja Shahani (Goldman Sachs), Ritesh Rajani (IBM) and Radhika Vaidyanathan (Community Business).

Vasu Primlani, a stand-up comedian and speaker from Delhi will be performing post the panel discussion.

According to Udayan Dhar, Project Lead and Diversity Consultant at MINGLE, “This year, our focus has been to invite people from all the genders, nationally and internationally, who show potential for leading India’s LGBT community to the next level. It has been our constant endeavor to be inclusive and encourage this ‘minuscule minority’ to rise and be groomed.”

Vithika Yadav, Head of Love Matters India, RNW Media said, “Love Matters India focuses on providing gender-sensitive information on SRH issues while challenging stereotypical notions on sexuality and gender diversity. Our goal is to secure equal rights and protections for everyone including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people by promoting awareness through our platform, using communications, media and technology. By co- organizing LGBT Youth Leadership Summit, we are looking forward to work with young LGBT leaders on issues of sexual health and inclusivity among LGBT group.”

Some of the speakers and panelists at this year’s summit are listed below-

Charles Radcliffe is Chief of Global Issues & Intergovernmental Affairs at the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in New York. He also leads the UN’s work on the protection of the rights of LGBT people and directs UN Free & Equal – a global multimedia campaign against homophobia and transphobia that has reached an estimated two billion people globally.

Ashok Row Kavi worked as a journalist in various newspapers and magazines for over 18 years. He then started India’s first gay magazine Bombay Dost and later founded The Humsafar Trust, one of the largest male sexual health agency in India.

Pooja Shahani is the head of global leadership and diversity for Goldman Sachs in Bengaluru. Pooja is a CSR and diversity professional with over five years of experience and has worked previously for Community Business.

Parmesh Shahani, listed as one of 25 Indians to watch out for by Financial Times, is the head of the Godrej India Culture Lab, an experimental idea-space that explores what it means to be modern & Indian. Parmesh also serves as the Editor-at-large for Verve magazine.

Harish Iyer is an equal rights activist for the rights of the LGBT community, children, women, animals as well as survivors of Child Sexual Abuse (CSA)

VasuPrimlani is a social entrepreneur and comedian. She has been the founder and Executive Director of Thimmakka’s Resources for Environmental Education, US, and has served as the Director of the Ecotel brand of green hotels in India

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